Customer Review

41 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It does have a plot dangit, May 31, 2007
This review is from: Inland Empire (DVD)
I strongly disagree with the person who says this movie has no plot. I just think it takes mental effort to stay focused and understand it. I have only seen it once so far, and quite frankly I was fading out during the last hour, so I def. need to watch it again, but it did make a lot of sense to me. I'm sure it will make sense in a different way to someone else.

The movie is pretty staightforward until the scene where Laura is having a romantic moment with her movie costar. She tells him "This is just like a scene from the movie." and then realizes that the cameras are rolling, and gets disoriented. At this point the move really breaks from the reality thus far, which I appreciated since that moment was so awkward and tense.

The rest is very dreamlike. I have always thought that Eraserhead is the closest representation to my dreams than anything else in real life, and this picks up on that a bit. We see some of Nikki's dreams, where I believe she is dreaming about her lover's old flings all in one room. Her story runs parallel to the actors who tried to film this movie in Poland and died during filming, and their story is shown a bit. The male actor dies later on, which I had been anticipating. We also see the story that the woman told in the beginning panning out.

It is confusing and I need to watch it again. I highly recommend watching it in the theatre first since Mr. Lynch is aware of his theatre audience and plays of off this. There are points of it that may never make sense to me, and some storylines that I don't quite see how they fit in. But I figure if I can anticipate events before they occur then it can't make no sense. This is a movie I feel I could talk about for hours, if only someone was willing to talk about it with me. It is quite an experience, I love the cinematography, the intense close-ups, the dark colors, the actors. I enjoy taking something to think about away from it.

A great movie.
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 12, 2007 12:19:38 PM PDT
there is a basic plot,but so much is left to the imagination that the plot becomes very secondary(on purpose i thought.)

Posted on Jul 12, 2007 7:55:36 PM PDT
I think you shed light pertaining to the parallels of the cinematic and real moments in the film. Your specific observations are quite helpful. JP

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 12:58:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 27, 2009 12:59:17 PM PST
I wouldnt call it a plot. Lynch is on record saying he believes in a unified field of consciousness. He said he reasoned that if this exists then he could make a film with seemingly unrelated scenes while tapping into this 'field' and some cohesive interconnectedness would appear. This was an experimental film in the true sense of the word.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009 12:17:55 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 13, 2009 12:20:43 AM PDT
I have watched the entire film 13 times and portions of it countless. Inland Empire has me in it's grip, I think for good reason. Lynch's opus thus far. Yes, unified field, but also unified story. It takes a while to fish it out. I do however believe that for those who spend the time, their conclusions will problably vary from mine and from each other's. There's just too much here. And you've simply got to watch the extras. Some of them, such as much of the Polish watch-selling scene and all of the incredible Laura Dern apartment/streetwalk/mansion maze walk are incredible, as well as the scene where Laura sits in her apartment with the ghostlike figures walking around her. Just downright brilliant and chilling. So chilling.

Posted on Apr 18, 2010 2:07:54 AM PDT
fang says:
Brilliantly balanced review, loved it!

Posted on Mar 26, 2011 1:20:58 PM PDT
As someone who initially was baffled by, put off by, insulted by the film, but later was fortunate to discover a barely concealed "entry point", I want you to know that the real "inner" film is exceptionally lucid, rational, logical. It's just that the cinematic method that David has devised in order to create the maximum level of impact is rather unusual and unorthodox according to "Western" traditions. He has deconstructed the elements of Film Noir mystery movies and taken them effectively to their limit, to such a degree of abstraction that the superficial appearance is quite alien, unfamiliar. But what he's also done is provided clues, hints, directions for us to adjust our minds, our awareness in order to receive this methodically structured information so as to have it assemble in our own minds very cogently, unbelievably vividly. He's respecting the very natural, mysterious ways our minds process reality, especially during challenging or stressful moments. Eastern modes of consciousness have done this mind adjustment for centuries as a way to transcend the mundane, temporal level of existence and to connect with a more unified and intense experience of reality. Transcendental Meditation is the technique that David is expecting us to first employ, as per the curiously worded instructions of the Polish characters at the film's beginning. If you are naturally inclined to adopt this altered consciousness, then it's a very simple process to grasp that everything, EVERYTHING, in the film is relative, is meant to be accepted as suggestive of many possible realities, not grounded in any one, two or three (the Trinity?!) definite meanings. Everything in the film - and everything in life - is of infinite meaning and value to each person, so trying to pin anything down to a single, neat, comfortable reality is tedious, wrong, and counter productive for living a more meaningful and satisfying life. Unfortunately, our Western culture insists on reducing everything down to a very inaccurate, inadequate identity. That's partly the purpose of this film, to expose the limitations, the fallacies of our Western "Christian" philosophy and to demonstrate just how puny and destructive is this mode of existence.

So, you can see that there are some very specific messages being transmitted through David's film, but amazingly none of it is literally communicated. It's all being powerfully suggested, exquisitely inferred. The ideas and theories and philosophies flow into your consciousness magically through the process of mentally engaging with the infinite structural mysteries of this film. This astounding process is equally the subject of this film along with David's profound insight into the abusive, violent, destructive nature of Western culture, in particular its treatment of women. It's a truly stunning, exhilarating experience to be aware that these concepts are being unfolded in your mind in a spectacularly compelling procession of revelations. Each new awareness leads directly, elegantly to another even more profound awareness. That's the truly artful aspect of this film, that through such vague, mysterious, unspeakable methods it instills such a thoroughly explicit, grand, profound experience. It's difficult to describe this experience in our Western language because it's an experience for which our fractured, distorted, handicapped culture has little use or respect for. We've been living diminished, inadequate lives for so long, it's a wonder that we haven't completely annihilated ourselves. Oh right, we very nearly have...

David isn't claiming, at least by what I glean from this unique, impressive film, that he has all or even any of the answers. But he is confident in his belief that if there are answers to be found they absolutely dwell in that remarkably vast, infinite realm that he's been acquainted with through Transcendental Meditation. Apparently, it's only there that our magically complex (complexly magical?) minds are equipped to uncover any truly valuable, worthwhile insights. We are confronted now with a choice between the undependable distortions and distractions of the fleeting, ephemeral material world, or the infinitely more dependable integrity of the transcendent world. It's only from one of these two realms that we may chose from where we select and direct and construct our futures. One leads to inadequacy, disappointment and chaos. The other offers a much more satisfying, meaningful, nurturing life. The choice is ours, if we care.

Posted on Feb 21, 2013 4:50:32 PM PST
For me there's a plot, but then I've seen it eleven times. It helps to pay close attention to the first few minutes, before Laura Dern even appears onscreen, and pay attention to the bits that seem like filler between scenes. Those bits are full of information, and all the pieces connect to form a huge picture, which you can interpret however you want. The "story" that seems to disintegrate about forty minutes into the film is actually not the story, but a story in a story, surrounded by other stories all revolving around the idea of illicit sex and its consequences. Offhand I think this makes three David Lynch movies where the world is turned upside down after two people kiss. It may not pack the emotional punch of MULHOLLAND DRIVE, but it's the more impressive film, and people who think it's a mishmash of disconnected ideas just haven't been hooked by it yet. Watch for the rabbits and red lamps, they're everywhere and they're what drew me in.
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